A couple of days ago our good friends Beverly and Jack took us around some of their favourite haunts in Imbabura Province, all within a day’s drive from Cotacachi. So they enlisted the help of their driver Juan and off we went. And what a trip it was!
Our first stop was Puertolago Country Inn, Laguna de San Pablo, Otavalo.
Next stop: the Cascadas de Peguche (Peguche Waterfall).
Our final destination was La Estelita Hosteria, Mirador, y Restaurante in Ibarra. This combination guest house, viewpoint, and restaurant, high above the clouds, afforded us — from the best table in the restaurant — the most spectacular, evanescent views of the Imbabura and Cotacachi volcanoes we have seen so far. The locals refer to Volcán (volcano) Imbabura as Taita (Papa) Imbabura and Volcán Cotacachi as Mama Cotacachi. These two massive, dormant volcanoes (Imbabura — 4,609m; Cotacachi — 4,939 m) dominate the landscape, and are considered sacred by the indigenous population.
On the way up to La Estalita on the long, windy, at times potholed, cobblestone-then-dirt road, the skies had been clear. However, a short time after we had sat down and ordered, the mist and clouds blew in, shrouding the great volcanoes and the city below in an impenetrable fog.
Later, as the day turned to dusk, and the city began to come alive with light, the fog lifted and the clouds parted, and Beverly’s wish that we see the summits of these volcanoes was fulfilled — the jagged peak of Imbabura and the more rounded, but higher, peak of Cotacachi appeared in their full glory.
It is said that when the wind gets up at nightfall, and climbs to the communities, it is the goodnight kisses that the two volcano lovers blow each other. (source: Land of Winds blogspot)